I am a big fan of Stephen Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Successfull People. From it I got the idea to create a list of habits for Highly Successful Exercisers. I hope this provides motivation if you are currently exercising to kick it up a notch or if you are not exercising at all to break it down and get started.
1. Be Proactive
It is your responsibility not only to show up to class or your workout session, but be well fueled and hydrated, have proper shoes and comfortable attire, and be ready to work.
2. Begin with the End in Mind
Set your goals. What do you want to get out of the exercise session or class? Take inventory and remind yourself of the reasons you want to exercise on a regular basis. Place inspirational pictures and motivational sayings where you will see them often. Surround yourself with others who have similar goals in mind.
3. Put First Things First
Is exercise a priority? Be sure that when you are planning out your week you keep the things that are most important to you on the top of your list. Write exercise in your calendar and treat it like any other important meeting. It is a meeting with yourself. If something does come up and you can not attend class ask yourself how you can still be active throughout the week. Be sure to follow through with that action.
4. Think Win-Win
When it is just one of those days that you do not feel very well or your muscles are sore think of how you can still make the most out of the situation. Try going to class and just taking it easy or choosing a form of exercise that will be not as strenuous on your own such as swimming or just walking. Movement usually makes you feel better.
If you are not seeing the results you thought you would stay positive and look at all the little things you have been doing well or the small changes that are taking place.
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Don’t assume you know exactly what to do in order to achieve your goals or even if your goals are what you should be working towards. Be a sponge and take in all the resources that are around you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of other exercisers around you, a friend, or a certified trainer. You will never know if you do not ask!
Value the differences between you and other individuals in class, around the gym, or outside. Gain their insight into health and wellness. Most of the time they are going through the same things you are. Let them provide you with support and guidance.
7. "Sharpen the Saw"
Take time for yourself in all areas of wellness. Remember that wellness is all encompassing and one aspect affects all others. Stress management, nutrition, and exercise are interrelated and if you are just focusing on one area the other areas will keep you from maximizing your results.